Friday, April 28, 2006

A law unto Myself

Excerpt taken from The Local - a Swedish 'English Language' newspaper.

Sweden's largest Muslim organisation has demanded that Sweden introduce separate laws for Muslims, according to Swedish television.

Sweden's equality minister Jens Orback called the proposals "completely unacceptable".

The Swedish Muslim Association, which represents around 70,000 Muslims in Sweden, has sent a letter to all Sweden's main political parties suggesting a number of reforms, SVT's Rapport programme reported.

The proposals include allowing imams into state (public) schools to give Muslim children separate lessons in Islam and their parents' native languages. The letter also said that boys and girls should have separate swimming lessons and that divorces between Muslims should be approved by an imam.

The letter provoked an instant, and damning, response from integration and equality minister Jens Orback."We will not have separate laws in Sweden. In Sweden, we are all equal before the law. In Sweden, we have fought for a long time to achieve gender-neutral laws, and to propose that certain groups should not be treated like others is completely unacceptable."

Orback said he had spoken to representatives of the Swedish Muslim Council, and they did not support the association's position."We have freedom of speech, we have the right to opinions and we have the right to make proposals - but if a law is going to be changed, it must be the same for everyone."

Asked whether the proposal plays into the hands of racists, Orback said that it did.

Actually I think Mr Orback is being a bit difficult, don't you?

For several years I too have been giving serious thought to writing a letter to the Swedish government calling for a few new laws to be passed to make my expat life here in Sweden a little bit more like home.

In it I’ve outlined my plans for a new law that makes it possible for all English people to drink in pubs any day of the week for just £2.50 a pint (I've obviously suggested the abolition of the Swedish Kronor and the introduction of British currency to achieve this), as well as another law that ensures SKY Sports is installed free of charge in the homes of all Englishmen (and spouses) so we can watch Premiership football at the weekends.

In addition I've called for the traffic to be switched back to the left-hand side of the road and for all the Swedish pizza restaurants to be immediately replaced with Indian ones.

I’ve also demanded the following:

  • All School children up to the age of 16 must wear school uniform and call their teachers Sir or Miss.
  • St George’s Day (the national day of England) should be made a public Bank holiday in Sweden.
  • Father Christmas should be forced to hand out presents on Christmas Day and not Christmas Eve, as is currently the tradition in Sweden.
  • Any attempt to put fermenting herrings into a tin should result in immediate arrest and long-term imprisonment.
  • Moms (VAT) should be lowered in line with the UK from 25% to 17.5% - but just for the English.

I’m very hopeful for a positive response from those nice people in the Swedish Government. After all, it only seems reasonable now that I live here, don’t you think?


At 10:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, we should be excluded from Sweden's alcohol politics. I mean, they are designed with Swedes in mind, with their twisted all-or-nothing view on alcohol; not Britons! It's a collective punishment! Why should I be punished for Swedes' behaviour? Obviously people in England are more responsible with alcohol, which is why the government over there has not implemented such draconian measures like the Swedish government has here. It's like being given "help", in this case high prices and limited opening hours, for a problem you don't have - I am responsible when it comes to alcohol! Oh, wine should be cheaper too for us! Maybe English expats should start a political party. We already have F! for feminists so why not a party called £NGLISH! This party can campaign for special alcohol prices for us, among other things.

At 1:48 pm, Anonymous Alqvist said...

I agree with soem of you lawchanges, I am all with with the Pub issue and with the fish-in-a-tin issue, keep up the strugle mate, more beer to the people

At 8:40 am, Blogger Sloth said...

Wow those are harsh words coming from a Swede... proof that they bend like a reed but don't break like a twig.

I agree you can't have separate laws for separate people and I also believe that when you immigrate you need to leave your silly customs behind you.

Part of the fun in life is admitting that your ancestors probbaly got it all wrong.

At 2:54 pm, Anonymous Shazzer said...

I'm TOTALLY onboard with the Christmas celebration date. The holiday is Dec. 25th dammit!! We'll be staying in Sweden for Christmas this year and I'm already dreading it.

At 11:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Swede and I kinda like the pub idea.. And also Systembolaget should be taken away, man... I hate it. And anonymous that's not true. We don't just booze drink all the time. Ok, many young people do, but that's the case in Britain as well, right?(that's what i've heard of people having lived in Britain)

Actually I*m not sure what people htey had in mind when they made the current alcohol laws.. They just suck. everyoe wouldn't become alcoholics just because you could buy other alcoholic liqiuds than light beer and cider in the stores...

At 4:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon you don't really like wearing those bloody uniforms and having to be so tidy and call your teachers miss or sir? Or do you?

At 11:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lived in Sweden from 2000 to 2003 and could not abide system bolaget. I suggested then that separate ex pat bolagets be set up, there could be more of them (say one on every other street corner like back home) and they could have longer opening hours and special offers to encourage you to drink more.

Then I went back to the UK and found myself somewhat disturbed by the drinking culture there. I'd forgotten what it was like to have booze readily and cheaply available and supplied to me by people whose job it was to make me have more of it. The hypocrisy was galling when the supermarkets said they would love to be more responsible in alchohol pricing but competition legislation prevented them. This came a few weeks after they were found guilty of price fixing MILK!

Now I'm back in Stockholm again Bolaget seems like a very civilised and responsible thing for a society to do and I'm glad my son will raised here rather than in the UK. If the British government really wants to do something about the binge drinking epidemic they'd look at bolaget very closely.


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